Nathan is very happy. After all his trials he has perfect rest. His face almost beamed when he said to me in the words of the Psalmist, “Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth, thy mercy, O Lord, held me up. For the Lord is my defence, and my God is the rock of my refuge.”
He is very anxious about the hostile attitude which Mohammed has taken. “God grant,” he said, “that there may not be another season of persecution. If there be, and the Lord will, I shall stay at Medina to comfort, if I may, my poor brethren there. ’Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ God grant that we may all be imbued with the spirit of him who said, ’Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despitefully use you.’ Yet, Yusuf, it may be that we shall be forced to defend our lives, and those of our wives and children,—God knoweth. He will direct us, if we permit him, so that, living or dying, it shall be well with us.”
Is not such love, such comfort in the help and presence and sympathy of God, worth more, infinitely more, than power or wealth or worldly pleasure? Nothing that happens can overwhelm this happy family, for they have the consciousness of God’s love and care in all. They have Jesus for a personal friend. Amzi, what would I not give to know that you felt as they do, and as I learn to feel, more and more, every day.
My friend, I could keep on
in this strain for the whole night; but I
am weary, for to-day I talked for many hours with some of those who
are half-apostatizing to Mohammed.
So, Mizpah; and may the blessing of God be upon you.
WHEREIN THE BEDOUIN YOUTH KEDAR BECOMES A MOSLEM.
“Mine honor is my life:
both grow in one;
Take honor from me, and my life is done.”
The scene again opens far to the north of the Nejd, El Shark, or the East. Into one of its most favored spots, a green and secluded valley, surrounded by grassy slopes, the sun shone with the fresh brightness of early morning, sending floods of green-gold light through the leaves Of the acacias, now covered with yellowish blossoms heavy with perfume.
By the side of a little torrent, rose the black tents of a Bedouin encampment. Flocks were on the hill-side, and the tinkling of the camel-bells and soft bleat of the lambs sounded faintly from the distance.
At the head of the valley, upon a rounded boulder of granite sat a woman; and before her stood a young man to whom she was earnestly talking, at times stretching out her hands as though she were beseeching him for some favor.
The woman was tall and well-built, her eyes were large and dark, and their brilliancy increased, according to Bedouin custom, by the application of kohl to the lids. Her face was keen and intelligent, and her hair, braided in innumerable small plaits, and surmounted by a much bespangled head-dress, was slightly streaked with gray.